Alzheimer’s Disease

two older women, alzheimers

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder of the brain that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. As the most common form of dementia, more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the fifth leading cause of death for women. A growing body of research confirms that biological sex plays a role in disease risk, as well as clinical presentation of the disease and progression of dementia. Scientists are exploring the causes of these sex disparities, but there is still much to understand about the origin and forecasting of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in women.

Alzheimer’s Disease is part of the SWHR Healthy Aging Network, which engages the following focus areas: Alzheimer’s Disease, Bone Health, Heart Health, Menopause, and Obesity.

Program Goals

  • Review the state of science and develop research, policy, and outreach recommendations to address knowledge and clinical care gaps related to Alzheimer’s disease and women 
  • Examine the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and federal policies on the health and well-being of women as caregivers 
  • Promote science-based health care policies around Alzheimer’s disease to improve patient outcomes and address disparities in care and access for diverse populations of women 
  • Explore the best means to further research and innovation in diagnostic and screening tools for women living with or at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Facts about Alzheimer’s Disease

13 million

Americans are projected to have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050


cause of death for women ages 65+

More than 60%

of unpaid Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women

More about Alzheimer’s Disease